Luis Enrique’s revamp of the Spanish World Cup squad has been almost complete as La Roja only have six players present at the last tournament. A wonderful team packed with red-hot talent and pockets of experience on the global stage, it should be an entertaining watch.
Their positive showings at the Euro 2020 have boosted Spain’s confidence after ending their campaign at the semi-finals with skilled players like Ferran Torres and Pedri injecting life into the team. Spain also reached the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals but lost to France.
These were positive results as Spain transitions from the golden generation that brought them the World Cup trophy in 2010. That was followed by a devastating group-stage exit during the 2014 edition and an elimination in the round of 16 four years later.
This year in Qatar, Spain now packs a younger and stronger pool of talent. That makes Spain among the bookie’s favourites for this year’s trophy, and punters can wager on them with legal sportsbooks in Texas as the World Cup action unfolds.
Spain is currently drawn in Group E, and face Japan in what might prove to be a tough final fixture. Luis Enrique’s men managed to easily qualify for the tournament, recording one draw and one loss in their eight matches. That represents one of the worst campaigns the team has recorded since the Euro 92.
Spain’s 2022 World Cup Squad
When it comes to the world cup, Spain is known for bringing a gifted squad with elite playmakers that can easily pass the opposition. That makes them among the most predictable World Cup teams.
In his selection of the final 26-man squad, Luis Enrique has maintained the possession-based philosophy that proved successful during the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 & 2008. That’s despite the departure of Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Co. In fact, the only world champion still on the squad since South Africa 12 years ago, is Sergio Busquets.
At 34 years, Sergio Busquets will be asking a lot of his legs to start every three days. However, with Rodri available as a luxury alternative, Spain might be able to pale the effects. Luis Enrique will need Busquets on the field for crucial moments, whether it’s guiding the team to a swift lead by the hour mark or as a finisher for the last 20 minutes.
Barcelona teens Gavi and Pedri, together with Atletico Madrid’s star Marcos Llorente and PSG’s pugnacious Carlos Soler, will form one of the most formidable midfield in the tournament. However, the rest could be more problematic.
While Spain’s defence conceded five times in the qualifying round, Luis Enrique is still determining the best combination. Should Cesar Azpilicueta or Dani Carvajal start the right back? Who will partner with Aymeric Laporte at the center? Will it be the Eric Garcia, surrounded by criticism, or Pau Torres?
Up front, Ferran Torres is on the periphery at Barcelona, and Alvaro Morata remains unconvincing, although his last-minute winner over Portugal booked a place for La Roja in the Nations League finals. Here’s a look at the full squad.
- Goalkeeper: Robert Sanchez – Brighton
- Goalkeeper: Unai Simon – Athletic Bilbao
- Goalkeeper: David Raya – Brentford
- Defence: Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea
- Defence: Dani Carvajal – Real Madrid
- Defence: Eric Garcia – Barcelona
- Defence: Pau Torres – Villarreal
- Defence: Jordi Alba – Barcelona
- Defence: Alejandro Balde – Barcelona
- Defence: Hugo Guillamon – Valencia
- Defence: Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City
- Midfield: Sergio Busquets – Barcelona
- Midfield: Rodri – Manchester City
- Midfield: Gavi – Barcelona
- Midfield: Pedri – Barcelona
- Midfield: Carlos Soler – PSG
- Midfield: Koke – Atletico Madrid
- Midfield: Marcos Llorente – Atletico Madrid
- Forward: Pablo Sarabia – PSG
- Forward: Nico Williams – Athletic Bilbao
- Forward: Marco Asensio – Real Madrid
- Forward: Alvaro Morata – Atletico Madrid
- Forward: Ferran Torres – Barcelona
- Forward: Yeremy Pino – Villarreal
- Forward: Danny Olmo – RB Leipzig